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Make your own passenger car diaphragms? Anyone know how?

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  • Member since
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  • From: Franconia, NH
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Make your own passenger car diaphragms? Anyone know how?
Posted by dstarr on Monday, July 16, 2012 4:22 PM

Just used up my last $2.98 Walthers diaphragm set on a baggage car.   Which seems like a stiff price for some bits of cleverly folded paper and  two plastic pieces.  You would think you could make them yourself.

Anyone had any luck doing so?  Any hints or kinks to pass on?

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  • From: Southeast Texas
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Posted by mobilman44 on Monday, July 16, 2012 4:56 PM

I've used American Limited diaphragms on several Athearn passenger cars and a number of Stewart F units.   They work just fine, and have lasted several years.

ENJOY  !

 

Mobilman44

 

Living in southeast Texas, formerly modeling the "postwar" Santa Fe and Illinois Central 

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Posted by NittanyLion on Monday, July 16, 2012 6:16 PM

Consider that each diaphragm is $1.49.  That's how much a pack of gum costs these days (assuming you're buying anything bigger than the five sticks of Juicy Fruit).  Your time alone, before materials costs, probably costs more than the $1.49 per unit.

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Posted by ndbprr on Monday, July 16, 2012 7:59 PM
There was an article or column on the procedure in MR many years ago like the early 60s. Basically you folded the pleats then the shapes.
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Posted by dknelson on Monday, July 16, 2012 9:40 PM

Some years ago a very simplified diaphragm idea appeared in MR or RMC.  The guy just folded black paper then cut in the overall shape of a diaphragm, sort of like paper dolls.  There was no door opening.  This simple black paper "accordian" would expand to meet its mate, but the tension was so slight that there was no problem with going around even very tight curves.  And while it was not accurate in its pleats, so to speak, the overall effect was so close that even the photos looked quite plausible and I suspect in real life, especially a moving train, one could not tell the difference.

Dave Nelson

 

 

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Posted by Steven S on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 9:15 PM

They look like they're probably similar to the bellows used on old view cameras.   Do a search on Fold Your Own Camera Bellows and you'll probably find something.   It will probably be tough to to make them so small.

 

Steve S

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Posted by DSchmitt on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 2:22 PM

ndbprr
There was an article or column on the procedure in MR many years ago like the early 60s. Basically you folded the pleats then the shapes.

Folded paper:

January 1937  Making Coach Diaphragms  - Howard K Foster - pg 17

September 1966 in an article titled Plush For Your Passengers - Gibson Kennedy -  pg 36

July 1970    MR Clinic  - Gordon Odegard - pg 74

Stryene:

January 1987 in an article titled Realistic Passenger Car Lighting  - Eric Bronsky -  pg 74  based on July 1985 in MR Workshop - Don Packard -  pg 126

I tried to sell my two cents worth, but no one would give me a plug nickel for it.

I don't have a leg to stand on.

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Posted by Lehigh Valley 2089 on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 4:45 PM

I remember seeing an article in Model Railroader a long while back on how to make more realistic diaphragms for N scale passenger cars, but I don't remember which issue it was.

The Lehigh Valley Railroad, the Route of the Black Diamond Express, John Wilkes and Maple Leaf.

-Jake, modeling the Barclay, Towanda & Susquehanna.

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